Two dead as Venice sees highest tide in over 50 years
VENICE: The city of Venice was hit by the second highest tide recorded in the lagoon city on Tuesday. The tide flooded its historic basilica and left many of its squares and alleyways underwater.
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said he would declare a state of disaster and warned of severe damage.
Two men have died. One had been struck by lightning while using an electric water pump.
City officials said the tide peaked at 187cm, just short of the record 194cm set in 1966.
"The situation is dramatic," Mr Brugnaro tweeted. "We ask the government to help us. The cost will be high. This is the result of climate change."
St Mark's Square was submerged by more than a metre of water, while the adjacent St Mark's Basilica was flooded for the sixth time in 1,200 years.
Four of those inundations have come in the last 20 years, most recently in October 2018. Last year, the administrator said the basilica had aged 20 years in a single day.
Videos on social media showed deep waters flowing like a river along one of Venice's main thoroughfares, while another showed large waves hammering boats moored alongside the Doge's Palace and surging over the stone sidewalks.
"A high tide of 187cm is going to leave an indelible wound," Mr Brugnaro said.
Much of Italy has been pummelled by torrential rains in recent days, with widespread flooding.Further bad weather is forecast for the coming days. - REUTERS